The Winnebago County Board was made aware of an issue regarding bitcoin mining that is taking place in Winnebago County. Bitcoin mining is when internet users known as miners validate information in a blockchain block by generating a simple or complex cryptographic solution that matches certain criteria. When the miner comes up with the correct solution first, a bitcoin reward and fees for the work done is given.
In order to accomplish the mining online, computers operate at a higher rate in processing data. Because the process is so intense, heat from the computers must be vented out of the building that is used.
The board called on Matt Duve who is the Zoning Administrator for the county. He had to investigate what Simple Mining LLC was doing on an agricultural zoned parcel.
Thad Wunder is the landowner next to the bitcoin mining operation. He is upset because he claims the heat from the computers is affecting his corn crops.
District 1 Supervisor Terry Durby cited another example of how the zoning is conflicted.
Supervisor Bill Jensvold took issue with how the zoning was being used in this case.
According to Duve, the building that houses the mining computers does not have footings but instead sits on a concrete slab. This raised the question if the building was for home occupation. Wunder challenged the idea of home occupation for the building.
The board charged Duve to go back and re-evaluate the zoning for the operation. Simple Mining LLC is not the landowner of the property in question.